28 February 2020 – At the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) Battlefield Evidence West Africa Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) presented “Guidelines to facilitate the use and admissibility as evidence in national criminal courts of information collected, handled, preserved and shared by the military to prosecute terrorist offences (Military Evidence).” The UN Military Evidence Guidelines were prepared in consultation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The two-day workshop, held from 18 – 19 February 2020, focused on how Battlefield Evidence can be used more effectively to interdict, investigate, arrest, try and prosecute terrorists in civilian criminal justice proceedings. Furthermore, the workshop sought to enhance the participating practitioners’ knowledge of the UN Military Evidence Guidelines and to provide them with practical guidance on how to implement these principles in their ongoing counterterrorism-related work, and thus help strengthen the capacity of West African justice systems to hold terrorists accountable for their crimes in compliance with the rule of law and human rights and to enhance national and regional security.
The workshop was co-hosted by the Government of Nigeria, with the support of the U.S. Department of State, and in close coordination with CTED and UNODC. The workshop brought together judges, prosecutors, investigators, judicial police, and military officers from regional countries.